General Assembly Elects 18 Members of Economic and Social Council, Also Adopts Texts, Including One Designating 29 June International Day of Tropics

The General Assembly, in a secret ballot vote held this afternoon, elected 18 members of the Economic and Social Council to hold three-year terms beginning 1 January 2017.  Those elected today were Andorra, Azerbaijan, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cameroon, Chad, China, Colombia, Norway, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland, Sweden, Tajikistan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and Venezuela.

The 18 outgoing members were Antigua and Barbuda, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Finland, Georgia, Guatemala, Kazakhstan, Panama, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Togo and the United Kingdom.  Of those, China, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and United Kingdom were re-elected.

The new members were elected according to the following pattern:  four from African States; four from Asia-Pacific States; three from Eastern European States; three from the Latin American and Caribbean States; and four from Western European and Other States.

As of 1 January 2017, the remaining States making up the 54-member body will be Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Chile, Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guyana, Honduras, India, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Moldova, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United States, Viet Nam and Zimbabwe.

In other business, the Assembly adopted draft resolution A/70/L.53 without a vote, deciding to designate 29 June as the International Day of the Tropics.  By the terms of the text, it invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, other international and regional organizations and civil society, including non-governmental organizations, to observe the day in an appropriate manner and in accordance with national priorities, in order to raise awareness of the tropics, the specific challenges they faced and the emerging opportunities they presented.  It further stressed that the cost of all activities that might arise from the implementation of the resolution should be met from voluntary contributions.

The representative of Australia, introducing the resolution, recalled that the tropics were home to 40 per cent of the world’s population and much of its biodiversity.  The tropics also faced a number of challenges, including infrastructure and service delivery demands and the complexity of managing resources and protecting fragile ecosystems.  The state of the tropics was linked to sustainable development, in particular poverty eradication, health, urbanization and the health of the oceans.  “The health of the tropics is a significant contribution to our global success,” she said in that regard, adding that designating 29 June as the International Day of the Tropics would help to deepen global awareness of the tropics and crystalize the fact that “tropical problems require tropical solutions”.

The Assembly then adopted a resolution of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) on the comprehensive review of the whole question of peacekeeping operations in all their aspects, contained in a report of the same name (document A/70/498/Add.1), deciding that the Special Committee would continue its efforts for such a review, as well as review its previous proposals and consider any new proposals to enhanced the United Nations’ capacity to fulfil its responsibility in that field.  It requested the Special Committee to submit a report at the Assembly’s seventy-first session.

The Assembly will reconvene in plenary on Friday, 17 June, at 3 p.m. to elect members of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law and consider other matters on its agenda.

Source:  United Nations